Epson introduces quartet of SureColor large format printers, new extra-dense UltraChrome HDX ink-set
Printer manufacturer Epson has announced that it will be selling four new printers for the professional market starting in November this year. The 24″ and 44″ models are designed for photographers, artists and graphic designers, and offer extended color gamut via improved 8- and 10-ink systems. The Epson SC-P6000 and SC-P8000 use the existing UltraChrome HD 8-color inkset, with the P6000 providing a maximum width of 24″ and the P8000 44″. The new UltraChrome HDX inks are used by the 24″ SC-P7000 and the 44″ SC-P9000. These last two printers are available in two different ink formulations, one with Epson’s light light black ink and the other, post-fixed with a ‘V’, with a new violet ink instead.
Epson claims the addition of violet in the 10-color ink-set extends the printers’ color gamut in the blue/purple region, allowing the SC-P7000V and SC-P9000V machines to reproduce 99% of the Pantone color system. The company claims too that the addition of light light black in the non-violet models extends the gamut as well, allowing 98% coverage. The 8-color SC-P6000/8000 models can manage 93% coverage.
The HDX inks are newly formulated and use new resin coatings and a much denser black than previously. The pigment density of the Photo Black ink is said to be 1.5x greater than that of the UltraChrome K3 and HDR formulations, and diagrams show the pigments sitting much closer to the surface of the paper. The extra density extends the dynamic range of the machines, allowing them to produce a broader range of tones and to create more contrasty prints. Epson quotes an optical density of 2.80 on its Premium Gloss Photo Paper, 1.77 on its Enhanced Matte Paper and 1.65 for its Ultra Smooth Fine Art Paper.
Each of the new machines uses Epson’s PrecisionCore print head that the company says doesn’t wear out as it doesn’t have to heat-up and cool down during printing. A 1-micron thin piezo film powers 360 nozzles per inch of the head, which Epson claims can produce perfectly round droplets without spotting.
Newly developed look up tables, created with help from the color science department at Rochester Institute of Technology, have found better ways of blending the inks available to reduce color shift under different lighting conditions and on different types of media. The company is also offering an optional Spectro edition with a built-in colorimeter to allow the machines to calibrate themselves and share their calibration data with multiple users and other machines on the network.